Dogs are pack animals and therefore they don’t like to be left alone. They actually see this as a fatal situation, and they will do anything to get back to the pack.
You’ve probably come home to the door all scratched up, your stuff teared into 1000 pieces or your dog barking when left alone. These could be signs that your dog has separation anxiety. Help is here, don’t worry!
We here at Barkli have a team of dog training experts that will help you find out if your dog has a problem being left alone. Here are our best advice to cure separation anxiety.
Signs You Need Dog Separation Anxiety Help
Both puppies and senior dogs can be affected by dog separation anxiety. Help them get rid of this and relief the signs of extreme stress from the moment they are left alone up till the time you return.
If you aren’t sure is your dog has separation anxiety, it might be a good idea to set up a camera in your house to see your dog’s reaction to being left alone. Let’s check out the symptoms for separation anxiety!
Symptoms for Separation Anxiety;
Attempting to destroy your furniture
Some dogs with separation anxiety will chew on objects, door frames or window sills, dig at doors and doorways, or destroy household objects when left alone. These behaviours can result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped paws and damaged nails.
Urinating and defecating
Some dogs urinate or defecate when left alone. If your dog urinates or defecates while you are the, it probably doesn’t have anything to do with dog separation anxiety.
Barking when left alone
Your dog might be barking when left alone. If this is constant and not just once at the mail man, it might be a pretty clear sign that your dog hates being separated from you.
Pacing stressfully around the house
Some dogs walk or trot along a specific path in a fixed pattern when left alone or separated from you. Some pacing dogs move around in circular patterns, while others walk back and forth in straight lines. If your dog doesn’t pace when you’re there, and only when left alone, it is probably symptoms for separation anxiety.
Trying to “dig” out of the house and escape
A dog with separation anxiety might try to escape from an area where he’s confined. Your dog might attempt to dig and chew through doors or windows, which could result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped front paws and damaged nails. This is one of the symptoms for separation anxiety.
When left alone or separated from you, some dogs defecate and then consume all or some of their excrement. If your dog eats excrement because of separation anxiety, he probably doesn’t perform that behaviour in your presence.
If you are unsure of your dogs behaviour while you are gone, we really recommend getting a dog camera to set up in the house. This way you can see how your dog is when he is left alone!
With this camera you can even hear what they are up, chat back to your dog and through then a treat while you are gone!
Seriously, we can’t recommend this enough.. it is one of the best tools to cure separation anxiety.
What Causes Dog Separation Anxiety?
You might be thinking: “Why my dog? Dog separation anxiety help me!”
No conclusive evidence show exactly why dogs have separation anxiety. However, a lot of the dogs adopted from shelters have this behaviour problem. This indicates that the loss of an owner or a group of people in a dog’s life can lead to separation anxiety. There are also a lot of other changes that can trigger the anxiety, so we have made a list of common causes to dog separation anxiety.
Change of human/family
Being abandoned, surrendered to a shelter or given to a new guardian or family can be one of the causes to dog separation anxiety.
If you have moved to a new home it might make your dog insecure which can trigger separation anxiety.
New member in the family
The sudden absence of a resident family member, either due to death or moving away, can trigger the development of separation anxiety.
Change in Schedule
An abrupt change in your schedule might be one of the causes for separation anxiety. For an example, if you work from home and your dog gets used to you being with him all day, you working away from home all of the sudden can trigger separation anxiety.
Sudden loss of a pet friend
Loosing a brother or sister can be very sad for your dog.
Insufficient training of your pet
Sorry to say, but this might be the most common cause of separation anxiety. Training your pet is so so so important! We highly recommend getting professional help to begin with or maybe get an online course to help you train your dog. This is not only the most common reason, but dog training is the MOST EFFECTIVE way to cure separation anxiety.
Absence of regular exercise
Always make sure you have stimulated and exercised you dog enough before leaving them alone. This is definitely one of the causes to separation anxiety. If your dog is under-stimulated and filled with energy when you leave them at home they will start destroying things.
How Can You Cure Separation Anxiety?
See, nothing beats the feeling of coming home to a happy dog. And I could as well say that nothing is as confusing as coming home to damaged furniture, shoes, odors of dog poop all over your house just because your pup cannot be on his best behavior.
Here are our best advice on how to cure separation anxiety:
1. Exercise Your Dog
Take your dog for a walk before leaving. It is important that your dog doesn’t have to go potty or needs to run off some energy when he is by himself. Also, make sure your dog has food, water, toys and an area that is his (like a dog bed).
2. Normalize Saying Goodbye And Hello
Okay, we’re not even going to act like this is easy to do. Coming home to your best friend being OVER THE MOON about seeing you is very heart warming. It’s almost impossible not to through yourself on the floor hugging and kissing your dog. We’re sorry… but this needs to stop!
Dramatically saying hello and goodbye to you dog, tells them that this is a “stressful” thing. This tells your dog that they should be very worried about you leaving and extremely happy that you are back. It simply indicates that they are NOT okey when left alone.
Therefore, normalize hello’s and goodbye’s, and you’ll help your pup heal and overcome their fear of loneliness faster.
3. Start Training And Be Patient
Training your dog to enjoy being home alone is the best cure for separation anxiety. We recommend you starting and online dog training course to make sure you to it correctly and don’t mess up the anxiety even more.
You need to make your dog comfortable with being away from you, and you can start by leaving your dog in a room while you are still in the house. Watch if he’ll come looking for you or start barking when left alone; that’s a symptom for separation anxiety. You need patience and if he starts barking you’ve left him for too long.
Take a step back, and slowly increase the time your dog is alone.
There are many other tips you can check out and learn how to teach your dog to be home alone.
4. Get a Dog Camera
A surveillance camera is by far the best way to know what your dog is doing while you’re away. Get a camera before you start teaching your dog to be home alone, so you can make sure your dog isn’t barking when left alone. This will help you with the training and make you more comfortable leaving your best friend. We recommend the PetCube camera Bites 2, because you can both hear and speak to your dog through this camera AND you can give your dog treats!
The camera works from anywhere, so you can literally be at work and talk to your dog while giving him treats!
It’s one of the best ways to give your dog a feeling that you still care about him and teach him to enjoy his time alone.
Okay, so that’s our dog separation anxiety help.
We hope you found this useful and most of all, we hope you get to cure the separation anxiety your dog has!